Janelle Porter was named Missouri’s School Social Worker of the Year. Porter is the North Kansas City Schools district’s director of student services.
The School Social Workers Association of Missouri recognizes a person with the award who demonstrates “outstanding contributions in service to students.”
“This award’s significance is even more important given the challenges school districts have faced because of the pandemic,” according to a district press release.
According to the district, Porter demonstrates dedication to the promotion of social work services and has been instrumental in working to support others during these unprecedented times.
“Her dedication, combined with a strong desire to help students, families and staff, fosters a sense of community and support within the profession,” states the release.
In her 13th year with NKC Schools, Porter said the award validates the hard work and effort all district social workers and school community resource specialists have put forth during a very difficult time.
“This is really a reflection of what our support staff is doing in the schools working with students one on one every day. The pandemic has had a profound effect on students’ mental health. Knowing we have several safety nets and that our district values supporting our students in this way is encouraging,” she said.
“With the mental health of students in the national spotlight, it’s reassuring to know we have the best person in the state leading our efforts to support students during the pandemic,” NKC Schools Superintendent Dan Clemens said. “Janelle goes above and beyond to ensure our students have the help and resources they need to overcome challenges they may face.”